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New iOS Versions of iMovie and GarageBand

Along with announcing the new iPad 2 and iOS 4.3 last week, Apple also released two new apps — neither particularly surprising, but both signaling Apple’s intent to continue migrating the iLife and iWork apps to iOS.

iMovie — The first app is a universal version of the $4.99 iMovie app, which will run both on the iPhone 4 (thank you, Retina Display) and the iPad 2. The new features in the iMovie app include:

  • Direct recording from the iPad or iPhone camera to the timeline

  • A precision editor

  • A sound effects library of 50 effects

  • Three new themes (including one tailored for CNN’s iReport) for a total of eight

  • Transition controls

  • Three audio tracks (which you can drag and edit) in addition to background audio tied to the chosen theme

  • The capability to use audio from the iTunes library on your device

  • Ken Burns effect on stills

  • Face detection and titles over stills

And, when you have completed your handheld masterpiece, you can upload it directly to CNN iReport, YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook — and, oh yes, MobileMe. Or, if you prefer, you can send it via Wi-Fi and AirPlay to your Apple TV, sync it via cable to your iTunes library, and even play it directly on your HDTV via the new $39 Digital AV Adapter for iPad 2, which Apple also announced along with the iPad 2.

GarageBand — To help you get in touch with your inner Domenico Scarlatti, Apple also announced a new GarageBand for iPad app, also for $4.99. With this new app you can play both Touch instruments (which take advantage of the multi-touch iPad capabilities) or real instruments (such as an electric guitar) that you plug into your iPad. The app even allows for audio recording with the iPad’s built-in mic. GarageBand runs on the iPad 2 as well as the original iPad.

Apple’s preview of the new app showed old GarageBand features joining new options made possible by the touchscreen, including:

  • 8 track recording

  • 250 loops that are compatible with the iLife versions on your Mac

  • Sound effects that you can apply to recorded audio

  • 10 stompbox effects

  • 3 acoustic drum kits that include snare, kick, toms, hi-hat, and cymbals, and that are touch sensitive — the sound changes depending on where you tap them

  • Drum pads for use with the classic drum machine interface

  • 3 keyboards — grand piano, organ, and synthesizer — with the latter able to access over 70 synthesizer sounds, including an “Arpeggiator” that you can use to play melodies and soundscapes with one finger

  • 9 guitar amps that you can control and switch between with finger gestures

  • Accelerometer-enabled onscreen keyboards that can detect how hard you are hitting the keys (yes, kids, a digital piano-forte replicated behind a sheet of glass)

  • Smart Instruments for guitar, keyboard, bass, or drums, that can create lines, chords, riffs, beats, and grooves for you

Once you have completed your musical masterpiece you can share it by sending the audio file via email to friends, adding it to your iTunes library, or importing it into GarageBand on your Mac for additional tweaking. (Initial reports from the event indicated that you could also send iMovie projects to the desktop, but Apple confirmed that the feature is available only for GarageBand.)

As Jobs put it in his announcement: “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing.”

It makes us want to dance a little, too.

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